Saturday, April 3, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala

Last week I found an old issue of Bon Appetit in the Foods room at school. On the cover was a stack of pancakes, loaded with blueberry sauce. Immediately I knew I had to have it, and asked about borrowing it for the weekend.

Wow. I think I need a subscription. Three recipes in two days later, I'm now a die hard Bon Appetit fan. Why didn't I ever look at this magazine before? Why didn't I ever pick it up when I was in line at the grocery store?

I had never made Chicken Tikka Masala before, and shying away from Indian food because it's spicy and Hubs won't eat it, I made this for Jake and I Saturday night. Obviously my newness to the world of Indian food came through in the end because while it's spiced very nicely and deliciously, this is by no means a hot curry. It's more like a tomato sauce spiced with ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and coriander, paired up with lightly spiced chicken marinated in yogurt. Grill the chicken on the BBQ, serve with veggies and naan bread, and you have yourself a really tasty dinner!

Adapted From Bon Appetit, Feb 2008

Masala sauce:

3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
3 cups chopped tomatoes (about 3 medium)

Chicken Tikka:

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil, plus additional for brushing
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper, divided (I used MUCH less. You can adjust this to how you like it)
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder, divided
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp garam masala
chopped cilantro

First, you need to marinate the chicken. In a bowl, stir 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne, and 1/4 tsp dry mustard. Toss with the chicken. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes.

Then, whisk together the yogurt, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp ginger and 1 tsp garam masala with 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder. When the chicken has finished marinating in the first mixture, toss it with the yogurt mixture; cover, and chill for about 3 hours, stirring every now and then.

Masala sauce:

Heat up some oil in a fry pan and saute the onion with cumin seeds until golden. Add your garlic and ginger, stirring; add the coriander. Dump in the tomatoes and reduce the heat, continuing to stir and simmer until it makes a thick, chunky sauce. I didn't actually use fresh tomatoes, because I didn't have any. Instead I used 3 cups of my own home canned tomatoes and some of the juice. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

When you are ready to cook your chicken, pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Throw the skewers on the BBQ until dark brown; about 2 minutes per side. Transfer them to the oven on a grill pan and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through; about 15 minutes. I just cooked mine under the broiler in my oven, which explains why they weren't dark brown in the slightest.

Serve the skewers with the sauce and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Serves 6
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